New Delhi, Jan.25 (ANI): Union Home Minister P. Chidambaram on Monday said that the decision of the franchisees not to select any of the 17 Pakistani cricketers who had been given Indian visas for participation in the third edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) was a disservice to the game of cricket.
Speaking in an interview to the Times Now television channel, Chidambaram the IPL could have been handled the auction held earlier this month in a better way and expressed disappointment over the non-selection of the Pakistani cricketers as individuals.
He said these players were 20-20 World Champions and did not deserve to be treated this way. He said that any suggestion that the Indian Government had "nudged" the IPL not to select Pakistani players was not true and had no foundation.
Former Pakistan skipper Ramiz Raja welcomed what Chidambram said, but said he was disappointed for the delay in the statement.
The IPL has denied government interference and stated that the T20 league officials had never said that Indian government did not grant permission to the Pakistani players.
Eleven Pakistani players, including cream of the Shahid Afridi-led reigning Twenty20 World Cup squad, were in IPL auction 3 fray, but none of the eight IPL franchisees took interest in them, fearing the chill in Indo-Pak relation might worsen, resulting in non-participation of these players.
The uncertainty over their availability cost Pakistani players lucrative IPL contracts. (ANI)